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Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Weird wonderful BBQ

Posted February 17, 2009 9:42 a.m. EST

“It’s the weirdest atmosphere for barbecue.” That’s how WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner describes her trip to 328 W. Davie Street in Raleigh last night. “It’s a fancy restaurant that serves excellent barbecue.” The name of the place is The Pit. I’ve never been there but I have tasted their barbecue at a catered event. It was excellent.

Here’s how Elizabeth describes The Pit’s main product: “It’s chopped barbecue with excellent texture and none of that crunchy stuff that leaves you guessing. The spices are right on. The flavor is rich and robust.” That’s a pretty strong endorsement.

After scanning their dinner menu I am intrigued by several items. The Barbecue Fries are hand-cut with melted pimento cheese, chopped cue, chives and barbecue ranch dressing. Maybe I’ll run a marathon before I eat those but I’d like to try them. Their Hot Spinach Bacon Dip also sounds interesting. And what about their Scupperdine Sangria and Carolina Julep with a hint of peach to go along with the bourbon and mint?

The pit master is Ed Mitchell of Wilson who uses a coveted 150 year old family recipe. Ed’s barbecue success has been featured in the New York Times and Gourmet Magazine. I think it’s high time I go down to Davie Street and check it out.

What about you? Have you been to The Pit and if so what were you impressions?  What about other unusual barbecue restaurants across North Carolina? Please share your insight and wisdom.